John Curtis part of USA Baseball 2018 National High School Invitational field

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The John Curtis Baseball team has received word that it will compete in USA Baseball’s National High School Team Invitational next month March in Cary, NC.

The event, featuring 16 of the best high school teams in the USA, will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) from March 28-31.

The Patriots will play Hanover High School (Mechanicsburg, VA) in the opening game of the 2018 invitational at 9:30 a.m. on March 28. The NHSI is a single-elimination championship tournament. Each participating team is guaranteed to play four games.

Patriot Coach Jeff Curtis said, “We are excited to have an opportunity to showcase our school, program and team on such a national stage. Going to what is one of the best venues for amateur baseball in the country is a once in a lifetime opportunity for not only our student-athletes, but for us as coaches as well. We are grateful to our school’s administration for providing us this great opportunity to continue to add to our school’s slogan, ‘Building Champions for Life.’

“This invitation is a compliment to the quality of high school baseball in the State of Louisiana and in the Catholic League,” Curtis added, “and we are proud to represent both of them in this competition.”

Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball, said, “We are excited to welcome sixteen of the top prep baseball programs in the country, as well as some of the nation’s best talent, for a truly one-of-a-kind high school baseball experience.”

Now in its’ seventh year, the 2018 Team USA event will showcase teams from 10 states: four from Florida, three from California, two from Arizona and one each from Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia. Select games will be streamed live on USABaseball.com, MLB.com and Facebook Live.

The Patriots reached the state championship final the past two seasons, winning it all in Division I in 2017 when they finished with a 30-6 record. The Patriots never trailed while outscoring their four playoff opponents 32-4. It was the school’s eighth state championship and the first in Louisiana’s largest classification. Coach Curtis’ team also won back-to back titles in New Orleans’ Catholic League, considered by some as the toughest district in the state.

Curtis posted a .313 team batting average last year, with a .930 fielding percentage and a 2.10 staff earned run average.

The team is seeking donations to help offset the expenses of the trip.

USA BASEBALL RELEASE

DURHAM, N.C. – USA Baseball announced on Tuesday the 16-team field that will compete in the 2018 USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary. The seventh annual event will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) in Cary, North Carolina, from March 28-31; and select games will be streamed live on USABaseball.com, MLB.com and Facebook Live.

The 2018 field features six schools who have participated in the event previously, including two past champions. The defending champions, Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.), will begin their title defense on Wednesday, March 28 in a first-round game against Florence High School (Florence, Ala.).

“It is our honor as the national governing body for baseball to continue to highlight the high school game in the amateur baseball landscape with the National High School Invitational,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball. “We are excited to welcome sixteen of the top prep baseball programs in the country, as well as some of the nation’s best talent, for a truly one-of-a-kind high school baseball experience.”

2016 North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A baseball state runner-ups, Green Hope High School (Cary, N.C.), will serve as the host of this year’s tournament. Green Hope will play its opening game under the lights on Coleman Field against 2016 NHSI semifinalist Walton High School (Marietta, Ga.), following the Opening Ceremonies.

Two-time NHSI champion, Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.), returns to the event for a fourth time and will take on Sandra Day O’Connor High School (Phoenix, Ariz.) in first-round action. Also returning to the NHSI are American Heritage High School (Plantation, Fla.) and Trinity Preparatory School (Winter Park, Fla.), who will face Santiago High School (Corona, Calif.) and Mountain Ridge High School (Glendale, Ariz.) on day one, respectively.

The final three first-round games feature six teams making their first-ever trip to the NHSI. George Jenkins High School (Lakeland, Fla.) will face Mount Carmel High School (Chicago, Ill.), Hanover High School (Mechanicsville, Va.) will face John Curtis High School (River Ridge, La.), and Hattiesburg High School (Hattiesburg, Miss.) will face Calvary Christian Academy (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.).

In total, 10 states are represented in the 2018 NHSI field, led by Florida with four teams, California with three teams and Arizona with two teams in the event. Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia are represented with one school each in the tournament.

“The National High School Invitational has established itself as the premier event of its kind,” said Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance. “USA Baseball has done a superb job establishing and growing the NHSI, which has quickly become one of the most attractive events on our spring sports calendar, both in terms of fan interest and economic development. The GRSA is delighted and proud to be on board as a host partner.”

The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) and the Town of Cary continue to serve as host partners for the NHSI in 2018.

The National Training Complex (NTC), in partnership with the Town of Cary, has been the official home of USA Baseball since 2007, and the NHSI since its inception in 2012. The NTC has had numerous Major League Baseball players venture through its gates, including Chris Archer, Cody Bellinger, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. The Town of Cary received the National Gold Medal Grand Plaque Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in 2016. The award honors U.S. communities that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.

The NHSI is a single-elimination championship tournament, with each participating team guaranteed to play four games.

For more information on the USA Baseball National High School Invitational, visit USABaseball.com or follow @USABaseball and @USABEvents on Twitter.

2018 National High School Invitational First Round Schedule:
Hanover vs. John Curtis (9:30 a.m. – Field 3)
George Jenkins vs. Mount Carmel (10:30 a.m. – Field 4)
Orange Lutheran vs. Florence (11:30 a.m. – Coleman Field)
American Heritage vs. Santiago (12:30 p.m. – Field 3)
Hattiesburg vs. Calvary Christian (1:30 p.m. – Field 4)
Mountain Ridge vs. Trinity Prep (2:30 p.m. – Coleman Field)
Sandra Day O’Connor vs. Mater Dei (3:30 p.m. – Field 3)
Walton vs. Green Hope (6:07 p.m. – Coleman Field)

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